International relations experts, writes Ochieng’ Rapuro, argue that the US needs to change its global policy drastically to stem the bile against it
The bombs are raining on Afghanistan and America is gloating that it has taken over the skies of that country.
But the campaign against the Taliban is taking place in total disregard of caution by international relations experts that the solution to the wave of hate against America lies not in military might but in a fresh look at human relations globally.
Yet the bias that the scholars say is the root cause of anger against America, and which needs to be addressed, is the very tool that the world’s sole superpower is using to fight its enemies.
The world’s media have, for example, provided in living colour, the gory details of the bloody terrorist attacks.
They have continued to consistently tell us stories about the suspected perpetrators of the raids and the preparations being made for retaliation.
And now they are telling us day and night about the successful bombing raids by the American and British fighter pilots of Afghanistan’s meagre and archaic military assets.
But no attempt is being made to get to the root of what may have led to the attacks in the first place. In a statement released in the wake of the attacks on Washington and New York, Noam Chomsky, the renowned American scholar and active member of the movement the western media has branded anti-capitalists, called on America to depart from the path of arrogance and reflect on why people are even opting to sacrifice their lives to hit it.
The wave of hatred against the United States, he said, is mainly a product of unjust policies as represented by globalisation of which America is the prime benefactor.
The situation has been worsened by perceived self-
appointment of the country to the position of the world’s policeman and uneven handedness in the Middle East crisis.
Add to this the dependence of a large proportion of America’s booming commerce on raw materials that have to be obtained from abroad often to the detriment of indigenous populations and you have the seeds of hate.
Official reports on US activities in Africa over the past decade, for example, reveals gross violation of human rights and massive loss of lives as American companies and state agencies pursued the continent’s valuable mineral resources.
The September terrorists attacks, for example, occurred only a week after The New African monthly magazine published a report containing incriminating evidence of America’s involvement in the DR Congo’s civil war that has led to the killing of more than 2 million people in the Eastern part of the country alone.
The report, a product of a three year work done in the Eastern Congo by American investigative journalist, Wayne Madsen, had been tabled before the US Congressional Sub-committee on International Operations in March this year, but no western media house, however, liberal dared to publish it although it was readily available.
In his testimony before the congressional committee, Madsen said the US was deeply involved in a number of trouble spots in Africa “where ethnic and civil turmoil permit unscrupulous international mining companies to take advantage of strife to fill their own coffers with conflict diamonds, gold, oil, copper, platinum and other minerals, including columbite-tentalite or colton - the primary component of the booming computer micro-chips and printed circuit boards industry.”
Similar reports have been filed of American activities in other trouble spots on the African continent including Sierra Leone and Angola.
Meanwhile, globalisation as patronised by the US has been marked by asymmetries, imbalances and marginalisation in international relations that has left many losing nations desperate for alternative global economic structures.
America is, in many parts of the world, being seen as the principal beneficiary of the unfolding global superstructure that has in the later years taken the form of contest among the world’s civilisations.
Some keen followers of the debate say the lack of practical alternatives to the capitalism has watered the ground for the emergence of Islam as an opposing ideology.
A prosperous America under modern commercial structures has increasingly build up sophisticated military machinery and walked into a corner of belief in invincibility. The product has been what has commonly become known as the arrogance of power which accordingly reached peak with the new Bush administration.
Immediately it assumed office, the new administration clearly developed a take or leave it attitude resulting into withdrawal or threat to withdraw America from important international agreements that past administrations signed following years of negotiations.
It began with America’s exit from the Kyoto Protocol on global warming despite its status as the leading producer of ozone depleting-gases followed by threat to withdraw from the treaty on non-proliferation of conventional weapons that has kept the lid tightly on the spread of weapons of mass destruction.
Unfortunately, even as America embarks on the war against terrorists, the arrogance of power persists.
President Bush said it all when he said in no uncertain terms that every nation in the world had only two choices to make in the face of the attacks. “You are either with us or with the terrorists,” he said.
Driven by the spirit of retaliation, America is throwing all caution to the wind in a bid to get its most wanted suspect Osama bin Laden.
Despite warnings that it should guard against disturbing the balance of regional power equations especially in Asia and the Middle East, the US has now taken steps for which the world may pay dearly in the near future.
For example, it has lifted sanctions against the Asian arch rivals Pakistan and India imposed over their engagement in a nuclear arms race.
The world has been left wondering if the danger posed by these two rival nations to global security has immediately vanished with the terrorist attacks on the US.
Similar US interventions in the past have created regimes that turned out to be its greatest enemies. Iraq and the Taliban it accuses of harbouring bin Laden are living examples.
It remains to be seen whether America will this time around leave Asia without causing more turbulence in world affairs.
Indications, given the frenzied diplomatic shuttles of Colin Powell and British Premier Tony Blair, are that tension is building up fast in the Muslim world.